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Should you mix wet and dry dog food?

Wet or Dry Dog Food — What is Best for Your Dog

From these definitions, you can see that the key differences are mainly in the processing and the moisture content of the food. Both wet and dry dog food contains some moisture content, only that wet dog food has more of it. The percentage of moisture content is usually indicated in the label. As for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, all these largely depend on the recipe used to prepare the food but generally, there is not much of a difference.

Pros and cons of wet and dry on their own

While there might be no big differences in the nutritional value of both wet and dry dog food, there are a few nuances which you should put into consideration before we delve into details around mixing.

Advantages of wet food

Wet dog food would be an ideal option if your dog does not get adequate water, or if you feel they just don’t simply drink enough based on the activity they complete each day (typically this might be relevant for service or training dogs). The high moisture content would supplement what your dog is drinking to ensure optimal hydration.

Great for young pups

Wet dog food is also a suitable option for young pups who are transitioning from breastfeeding or have not fully developed their teeth. Some pet parents might sprinkle on some dry food but we would suggest mostly sticking with wet food early on, as the moisture is beneficial for puppies.

Great for elderly dogs

Since wet dog food has very intense aromas and flavours, elderly dogs who might be losing their sense of smell are likely to enjoy their meal more compared to dry dog food. For elderly dogs who are eating for survival, but don’t seem to be enjoying it, wet dog food might just titillate their taste buds once again! Also, if your furry friend is ill or has a low appetite, the aroma and flavour of wet dog food might just make the difference.

Low calories

The biggest drawback of dry dog food is perhaps the number of calories it contains. A dog with a ravenous appetite combined with low activity levels could easily become overweight if he or she is solely on dry dog food. Due to the high moisture content in wet dog food, our canine friends get fuller quickly and eat less.

what is better wet or dry food

Advantages of dry food

To no surprise, the disadvantages of wet dog food are the advantages dry dog food has to offer.

Shelf life

As we mentioned earlier, wet dog food has a much shorter shelf life compared to dry dog food. This means that wet dog food should not be left for long once opened, as it goes off and exposes you and your dog to harmful bacteria. This could also mean dry dog food is more economical if you are on a budget since you have to stock up less frequently.


Dry dog food is also more convenient especially if you are going out on a trip, as you do not have to worry about a fridge for storage.
Dry dog food does not leave as much stain on the teeth compared to wet dog food. If your dog is on canned food, then you might have to establish a proper dental cleaning routine otherwise you will notice a nasty breath or even worse, tooth decay

Benefits of mixing wet and dry dog food

Mixing wet and dry dog food if done properly offers a variety of benefits for you and your furry friend. For one it is an excellent way of adding some variety to your dog’s daily diet and dogs who are susceptible to intolerances may find variety useful in keeping spikes at bay.
But other than that, mixing really allows you to get around the cons of both wet and dry, whilst benefiting from their advantages, such as:

  • Being able to make sure they get sufficient water intake
  • You can promote dental health, through the hardness of the kibble
  • Weight management is made easier. Topping up with one or the other more, is a great way to keep that calorie balance in check depending on how they typically put on weight.
  • For dogs who are picky eaters, adding a wet dog food topper is a great option as it enhances the aroma and flavour of the meal.

Disadvantage of mixing wet and dry dog food

However, although we can match the pros up, there are some disadvantages of mixing wet and dry.

  • It can be less cost-effective, due to wet having a shorter shelf life so it might end up being thrown out. Wet is also more expensive than wet, so it will inevitably be more expensive than just doing dry.
  • It is far less convenient having to make sure you have both wet and dry dog food in stock
  • Portion control can also be difficult, not to mention it can be inconveniencing for some dog parents especially those with many dogs around the house.
  • Some dogs also have sensitive stomachs which makes a transition to mixed dog food quite aggravating.

How to portion correctly when mixing wet and dry

Determining the ratio of wet dog food to dry dog food really depends on the needs of your dog. If, for instance, your dog is on dry dog food and is grossly overconsuming calories, you might have a ratio where 40% is dry dog food while 60% is wet dog food (Note that this is ratio is just an example highlighting a decrease in dry dog food to control calorie intake).
It is advisable to consult a vet as they will give the best ratio of dry to wet specific to your dog. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, your vet will also provide guidelines on how to transition to a mixed diet.
Regardless of wet or dry dog food, what matters the most is ensuring your dog gets the nutrients required for optimal health. Mixing both wet and dry is a suitable option with plenty of benefits. It is important to strive for a good balance and proper portion control. Introduce the changes gradually especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach. That being said, dry or wet on their own is also fine as long as they are getting the right nutrients.

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Can You Mix Dog Food Brands? (Inc. Wet and Dry Dog Foods)

World of Dogz

Whether your dog is bored of his food or you’re bored of watching him eat the same dog food over and over, you might want to introduce an alternative brand to his diet. If you’re thinking about mixing new brand food with one that your dog is used to, you are on the right track. So, can you mix dog food brands?

You can mix dog food brands if they have the appropriate nutritional value and are free of allergens. As long as neither brand is subpar or unhealthy for your dog, their mixture will not be harmful. Make sure to mind the mixing ratio and gradually shift it to include more of the new brand.

In this article, I will go over three reasons dog food brands are mixed and whether it is right to mix dog food in each context. Among other things, you will learn how to mix two different brands of dog food and what steps you should take to mix dry and wet dog food in appropriate proportions.

Can You Mix Dog Food Brands? A dog eating kibble with a different brand of wet food mixed in.

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Let’s start with the main question of what happens if you mix two different dog food brands.


  1. Mixing Dog Food Brands: When Is It Okay?
  • Transitioning Your Dog To A Different Brand
  • Making Food More Palatable
  • Find Different Brands That Reflect The Same Life Stage
  • Get Wet And Dry Dog Food For The Same Dog Breed And Age
  • Mix 1 Part Wet Dog Food With 3 Parts Dry Dog Food
  • Maintain Or Increase The Wet-Food Ratio

Mixing Dog Food Brands: When Is It Okay?

Mixing dog food brands is a practice adopted for three reasons. It is generally harmless and is even recommended in some situations, but there is one type of dog food mixing that isn’t advisable. To elaborate on this, we must start with the three reasons people want to mix dog food brands:

  • They are transitioning their dog to a new type of dog food
  • They are trying to make food more palatable for their dog
  • They’re trying to adjust their dog food expenses

Transitioning Your Dog To A Different Brand

Mixing two different dog food brands is an acceptable practice when switching your dog’s diet. Abrupt switches can be bad for your dog’s health. Moreover, your dog might not be as receptive to his new diet. Mixing dog food brands for transitioning purposes follows these stages:

  1. 90% brand A (primary food) + 10% brand B (new brand)
  2. 80% brand A + 20% brand B
  3. 70% brand A + 30% brand B
  4. 50% brand A + 50% brand B
  5. 20% brand A + 80% brand B
  6. 10% brand A + 90% brand B

This type of food mixing is temporary until your dog gets used to his new food. It is often the recommended method of making transitions in your dog’s diet, especially if he is starting to get bored with his food. You can adjust the ratio and percentages of brand A and brand B in his food mixture.

The underlying principle is that the brand he is fond of must initially constitute the majority of the mix. You can reduce it gradually until it is practically non-existent.

Some dogs can transition to a different brand without any stomach problems quite quickly, whereas others may need a few weeks to transition over fully. It’s best to take things slowly to avoid any stomach upset.

To give your pet’s digestive system time to acclimatize, I advise gradually blending an increasing quantity of the new food into the old diet over at least one week. Spreading out the switchover allows your dog to adjust and adapt to the new food.

Hungry Rottweiler With Empty Bowl. Mixing Dog Food Brands.

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Making Food More Palatable

The second reason is more specific to fussy eaters. If your dog doesn’t like to eat dry dog food, you might want to mix some wet food in it. If he doesn’t like processed dog food, you might mix it with organic dog food.

The underlying principle, in this case, is that you disguise the taste of the food he isn’t fond of with food that he likes. This is a perfectly acceptable solution if both brands are high quality.

Pro tip! If you have a picky eater and are on the fence about mixing dog food brands, there are many things you can add to kibble. Head over to this article to learn more, 15 Easy Foods To Mix With Dry Dog Food (For Fussy Eaters).

Pro tip! Sometimes I also add water to dry dog food to mix things up and change the aroma and palatability of the food. This makes the food into a yummy ‘gravy’ without additional expense.

Can You Mix Different Brands of Wet and Dry Dog Food?

You can mix different brands of wet and dry dog food as long as both brands offer healthy nutrition. You should not mix subpar dog food with high-quality dog food, regardless of whether it is dry or wet. It is also not advisable to mix expired wet or dry dog food with an alternative.

Mixing dog food is not like mixing medicines. That’s why you don’t have to overthink potential complications and reactions.

Remember, dog food brands know that dogs might be eating any number of things before or after consuming their food. That’s why dog food is generally free of ingredients that might cause an adverse reaction when co-consumed with any other food.

Mixing can make it easy to overlook some problems with one or the other brand. And that should not happen. Before you mix two brands of dog food, you need to ensure that they:

  • Are nutritious
  • Are not past their ‘use by’ dates
  • Do not include anything that your dog is allergic to

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I often like to feed my German Shepherd cold-pressed dry food with a wet food topping. Both types will be different brands of high-quality foods to ensure her canine nutritional needs are met.

Mixing Different Brands of Wet and Dry Dog Food. Kibble mixed with a different brand of wet dog food.

Mixing Dog Food For Budget

This type of dog food mixing is discouraged because subpar dog food is not nutritious when it is mixed with high-end dog food. It only serves to bring down the nutritional density of good quality dog food.

It is particularly dangerous when instead of mixing a cheap brand with an expensive one, dog owners mix expired food with fresh food. That makes the overall mix unhealthy.

How To Mix Dog Food Brands

In this section, I will cover the best practices of mixing dog food brands in chronological order so it forms a guide you can follow. These draw from my experience and my vet’s advice.

Find Different Brands That Reflect The Same Life Stage

Mixing dog food brands is easy once you acquire the right food. The first step is, therefore, the most crucial one. You must get two different brands of dog food whose nutritional requirements reflect the same stage of development.

German Shepherd Eating Mix of Dry and Wet Food From Bowl

Maintain Or Increase The Wet-Food Ratio

It is not mandatory to increase wet dog food beyond 25%. But if you want to increase your dog’s wet food intake, you can decrease the dry food in the right proportion so your dog doesn’t overeat.

Remember that a quarter cup of most dry dog food equals 3 ounces of wet dog food. And an average adult dog needs an ounce of wet dog food per pound of body weight.

Reading the serving suggestions and portion information on the package is also highly recommended. You also have to factor in the number of meals you feed daily, body weight, metabolic rate, and amount of exercise.

Biggest Dog Food Mixing Mistakes

Often, pet owners mix dog food experimentally. These experiments can be costly for pets. In this section, I point out a few mistakes that you must avoid when mixing dog food brands.

  • Do not mix expired dog food with fresh food – This can lower the overall freshness of the mixed food and can even make it unhealthy.
  • Do not mix dog food randomly – Proportions matter, and different portions of wet food and dry food are nutritionally equivalent. Random mixtures can starve your dog or contribute to his weight gain.
  • Do not mix therapeutic food without consulting a vet – Therapeutic food needs to be carefully mixed with other food if it is supposed to be mixed in the first place. To avoid diluting its effectiveness, you must consult a vet.
  • Do not mix dog food meant for different ages/sizes – Big dogs need big dog food, and small breeds need small breed food. The same applies to dog food formulated for different stages of a dog’s life. Both food A and food B in the mixture should be individually appropriate for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Mixing two different brands of dog foods is perfectly fine. In fact, mixing different textures and aromas can make food more interesting for your dog.

However, you should ensure that both food types being mixed are appropriate for your dog and have excellent nutritional value. Above all, make sure that your dog actually likes the food he’s given.

Related Posts You May Like:

  • Do Dogs Like Dog Food? (Like The Taste? Or Is It Boring?)
  • Cheap Dog Food vs. Expensive Dog Food (Key Differences)
  • Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Dog Food? Let’s Find Out!


Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. View all posts


Hey there, I’m Sharon, and this is Willow! As a former Police Officer who worked alongside German Shepherds for almost 30 years, I have a passion for all dogs.

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